Hey Rob your website is super cool. I was wondering what kind of workouts would be good for firefighters. Especially preparing for georgia smoke diver school. Which I am preparing for next year. Any help would be great because there is not a lot out there to help prepare for georgia smoke diver school. Thanks for reading my email.
I don’t have anything specific for you. I’ve had several requests recently from guys to develop urban firefighter-specific programming and I may move in that direction.
From the stuff we do have, a great place to start would be our Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Program: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=83
Don’t be turned off by "Afghanistan" – this is a great, sport-specific functional fitness program which trains several fitness attributes common for firefighters including sprinting, upper and lower body strength hill/stair climbing, core strength, and movement under load.
Our stuff is intense and so is this plan. It’s a great place for you to start.
I was wondering if you have a core intensive program? i currently do the operator sessions as well as finishing up the rat 6 to improve my overall strength. i am a skinny guy 5’10 155 and am also an EOD tech i found that last time i wen to Afghanistan i was carrying 120 lbs of kit while doing dismounted operations which was grueling to say the least. needless to say i am trying to take overall core strength to the next level any info on programs or anything else wold be great. Thanks for everything that you do to keep people in the shape they need to be in.
Not specifically, no. I’m not sure if you did completed our Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training Program last time, but we hammer the mid-section in it.
I’ll put some thought to this. My quick answer is more sandbag get ups. Add 80x Sandbag Getups, 3x/week, to your training. Keep track of your time. If you can make 10 minutes, your midsection and "Combat Chassis" is pretty bomber.
Hi sir, I was curious if you would give me an idea of how to edit your ruck based selection plan to fit around my current units schedule? Unfortunately i spend a certain amount of days out in the field without full gym access…. Days 1-5 Full gym access, Days 6-9 access to treadmill, pullup bar and dumbbells… Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!
I specifically designed the latest version of the Ruck Plan to not require a gym for guys like you. I’d recommend you purchase it: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=52&&cart_ID=45
Thank you for your amazing programming. I have been following the operator sessions for almost a year now. I have seen great results in my strength and more importantly my endurance. However, I always seem to have some kind of nagging injury, ranging from strained rotator cuff to now a hamstring pull. My question is, do you have any suggestions on how to prevent these types of injuries from happening or should I be doing extra mobility? Overtraining? I am 5’3 and 155 pounds. I am fairly bulky for my size. Could this be affecting me? My numbers are: Squat- 310, clean- 200, bench- 285, and push press 185. Any advice would be great. Thanks for the awesome sessions.
No easy answer for you. In general, I believe strength is 80% of durability – and your right there with our strength standards. Based on your upper body numbers, I’m thinking you’re overpowered in the upper body, and could have some excess mass there. At 5’3", I’d likely to see you in the 145-150# range …. but this wouldn’t explain your nagging injury issue.
Most of my guys are pretty darn durable. I feel the mobility/durability and balanced training we program is just about right.
But this isn’t to say we don’t have nagging injuries – I’ve got a tweaky right foot, right knee, for example. When I was younger (I’m 45) I found these went away after a while. Now they just linger!!! I train through it and try not to give them too much attention.
This is important. Durability is a mental issue, too.
I’ve found in general, that the better natural athlete you are, the more little injuries crop up. My sense is this is because good natural athletes are more in touch with their bodies, and this affects them more.
They are also more delicate. In a car analogy – a great natural athlete is like a Ferrari – super lean, fast, agile, but hit it with a shopping cart in the parking lot, and it has to go to the shop 6 weeks for repair.
Guys like me are more akin to a 1979 F150. Going nowhere too fast, not too agile, and full of nicks and dings, but never been to the shop, and just keep grinding on.
I guess it’s important for you to know that few of use aren’t nursing some little nagging injury. Especially those past 30.
In general, my guidance is to train injured, but not hurt. If it’s not going to make it worse, keep training. If it will make it worse, work around it.
Wish I could offer more.
Is your hypertrophy program specifically directed toward skinny guys? Or could it be effective also for some one my size?
205 lbs 5 foot 11 inches
BP – 205
Squat – 275
Press – 145
Age – 29 yo
I’m just trying to decide if it’s worth doing the hypertrophy program before I jump into the Rat 6 program. I’d really like to add some more muscle to my frame, I’m coming off some strongman type training so I got some extra fat I’m carrying around these days.
PS – Is there a way to search the Q&A archives?
Anyone can use the Hypertrophy Program. It’s designed to increase muscle mass.
Nothing built in to search the Q&A’s. Sorry.
I just had a quick question about the Ruck Based Program. I have the 2009 version, and was curious if it is any different? Wanted to see if i should purchase the new one, or if that one works. thanks.
We’ve updated the Ruck Plan 2x since then, however you don’t need to purchase the new one. Several used your version successfully for SFAS.
I’ve heard from a bunch of people how good the Military Athlete training is for all kinds of purposes and selections in the military and so am looking into using it for when I apply for the Parachute Regiment (British Army) next year. My situation though is this..
In July 2012 I had an ACL reconstruction, now although I’ve been fully rehabbed and discharged from treatment and can comfortably squat, run, play sports etc I still feel my legs need to become a lot stronger to handle the high volume of running and tabbing(Para version of rucking) I’ll go through if I make it through to basic training. Aswell as this I’m still short of where I need to be in the entry tests (200m 44lbs each hand farmers walk under 2mins, 90lbs lift from ground to 5 feet, 2mins Pressups and Situps, 1.5 Mile run in under 9.18) So I’m wondering how you would recommend planning my training over the next 4-6 months to build up strength in my legs and passing the entry tests or any specific programmes you think would help most to reach my goals.
Thanks for your time,
I’d recommend you start with our Bodyweight Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=96
This is a great place to build basic strength back in your leg, and overall fitness. The plan is no joke. After the plan we’ll need to assess and see where you’re at, but I’ll likely have you complete the APFT Training Plan to drill your running, push ups, situps, etc, with a little added strength and rucking work.
First I wanted to say thanks for the APFT plan. It really helped increase my PT score in only a few short weeks. My initial test results were:
At the end of the program (and after a 4 day in Vegas and only 4 hours of sleep before my for record test) I scored the following:
Admittedly I could have done more pushups and situps (after all I did 83 of each the test 2 weeks ago), but I wanted to save some for the run since I knew I wouldn’t run a 13 minute… I had about 45 seconds left for pushups and 15 for situps when I stopped… I am extremely satisfied with the improvements though.
On to my question. Now that I am done with the PT test for the next 6 months, I wanted to start a plan that will increase my overall fitness and also help me to cut weight. Right now I’m sitting at about 190 and am 5’9”. I’d like to sit at closer to 170-175. I’ve already purchased the on-ramp plan because I was going to start that before I found out we had a PT test when we did but never got to start it. Is this the best plan or should I try something else first? Thanks for the help!
80% of bodyweight is diet, Jason. Make sure you’re following the nutrition/diet recommenations in our FAQ.
Yes on the OnRamp Plan. Work through it.
Rob first off I would like to thank you for all that you have done with your
amazing programming, it rocks. I have used your operator sessions
successfully in the past and have had awesome results. While doing the
operator sessions regularly I scored a 141 on operator ugly but my main
problem was front squats and SBGUs. I only did 10 front squats due to my
shoulders not staying high enough, how can I fix this? For SBGUs I only did
about 45, what can I do to work on this too? My next question is that I have
had a lower back injury that has been giving me problems off and on for a
while and I can’t seem to get healthy enough long enough to get back into
shape. What can I do to get back into shape and protect my lower back at the
same time? When I used your operator sessions regularly in the past I was
more durable and in the best overall shape I have ever been in my 16+ year
Army career. Thanks again for any advice you can give.
The best way to work on the front squat and SBGU scores for Operator Ugly is to do our Operator Ugly Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=51&&cart_ID=70
This is an amazing plan – and serves as a great overall fitness booster.
Low Back – I’d recommend our Low Back Training Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=57&&cart_ID=55
Do the low back plan, then follow up with the Operator Ugly Train up.
I have a few of your programs and intend to use a combination of sfod-d and fbi hrt programs to prepare for reserve special forces over here in the uk. In the meantime, however, I need to get into shape to be ready to embark on these programs. I have suffered from a few injuries and gained some weight, so my numbers are pretty poor right now:
1 mile run: c8 minutes
I have a year or so to get in good enough shape to start the above preparation programs. What do you think I should so in the meantime?
I am going to try to establish a strong aerobic base through LSD walking / running, but I will be building that up from nothing using a couch to 5k and then half marathon program over the course of 6 months. I’d like to get to the point of 10 mile run in 80 minutes before I embark on the prep programs. What would you recommend I do in addition to the running work I already have planned (3x weekly)?
On ramp program? Body weight program alternated with 6 rat program over and over?
One plan at a time. Don’t mix/match.
Start with Bodyweight – then Rat 6, then the Operator Sessions – then your selection prep.
I found your site through an article at SOFREP.
I am a 25 year old male who is 5′ 11" an 210lbs. I am not in top physical condition but have made great headway so far. (I am down over 45lbs in the past 10 months and am working out on a daily basis, I still have about 10-20lbs to lose around the middle).
Im about to get a job as a detention officer at the Sheriffs Office, and plan on going patrol once I consider myself to be in good enough condition.
My question is this. Should I start with the "On Ramp" plan or jump straight into the "Patrol Officer" plan? Is there a certain level of base fitness I should have before starting the plan?
I’m also interested in the "Big 24" plan but it seems like the "Patrol" plan includes that goal.
Do the Patrol Officer Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=58&&cart_ID=64
And visit our FAQ for our nutritional guidelines.
First, I love your programs, they helped me get through an APFT and then a
12 mile Spartan Beast less than a week apart. I have a Go Ruck Challenge in
April 14 and 2 weeks later I have another APFT. I have purchased and used
your Endurance program and your APFT plan. I am trying to program prep for
both events, I am just not sure how to incorporate both plans into my
Hold the High Ground!
APFT is job-related and should be your priority. I’d recommend doing the APFT Plan and adding in rucking for the challenge. I’m thinking the bodyweight work and running in the APFT Plan will assist with the challenge. You can do the rucking progression in our endurance plan, or purchase and complete the Ruck Improvement Plan: http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=12&cart_category_ID=56&&cart_ID=110
This week I have been doing the free operator sessions along with week 1 of the run improvement program. I subscribed to the operator sessions today and plan to begin them next week while continuing with the run improvement. Where in the sessions would you recommend I start? I have seen that you recommend starting with a strength cycle, but I wondered if you might modify this because of the additional running or if a particular strength cycle would be preferable to the others.
Start with the most recent strength cycle – 9.16.13. Lift in the AM, run in the PM.